- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

CUMBERLAND GAP, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee State Parks is looking for volunteers to help it finish rehabbing the Cumberland Trail.

WBIR-TV (http://on.wbir.com/1JQvgbJ) reports the Cumberland Trail Revitalization Project has 90 percent of the land it needs for the endeavor to rehabilitate and maintain trails that will extend from Cumberland Gap to Chattanooga. Officials say they need more help to turn the land into trails for hiking.

“There isn’t any place you can close your eyes. You got to keep them wide open. Every step along the way, there is a rocky ledge coming to a new overlook. And a river gorge,” said Cumberland Trail Park manager and state park ranger Bob Fulcher.

Fulcher said he has dedicated his career to the project.

“This is why I came to work 37 years ago. The opportunity to work on a project like this was just a dream then, and it has been a wonderful endeavor,” said Fulcher.

Park rangers say they want to give residents more hiking options and conserve state history.

“We are also in the process of protecting endangered species. Both animal and plant,” said park ranger Jim Brannon. “If these things disappear they are just gone. So the opportunity to preserve them is unique and we appreciate the responsibility to do this.”

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Information from: WBIR-TV, http://www.wbir.com/

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